SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch to host AFIT’s Space Object Self-Tracker


The Air Force Institute of Technology’s Space Object Self-Tracker flight experiment was launched on the Defense Department’s first SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket on June 24 from Kennedy Space Center in Florida.
The SOS is a self-sufficient, low-cost, low-weight, and low-power system designed to demonstrate precise tracking capabilities for future Space Situational Awareness and Space Traffic Management.  AFIT’s Center for Space Research and Assurance designed, manufactured and tested the payload through one of several collaborative efforts with the Air Force Research Laboratory Space Vehicles Directorate at Kirtland AFB, N.M. 
“Through our collaboration with AFRL/RV, AFIT has been able to deliver both hands-on experience and education to our graduate students as well as valuable research benefit to our AFRL/RV sponsors,” said Col Tim Albrecht, CSRA Director.
Instead of being an independent satellite, SOS is integrated on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Green Propellant Infusion Mission spacecraft, a system designed to demonstrate the practical capabilities of a high-performance green alternative to legacy space propellants such as hydrazine.   
The SpaceX Falcon Heavy mission is managed by the Air Force Space Command’s Space and Missile Systems Center.  SMC procured the mission to provide spaceflight for multiple DoD, NASA and NOAA-sponsored military and civil experiments and to demonstrate the SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch vehicle for future operational DOD missions.  For launch updates, please visit:
The Air Force Institute of Technology, or AFIT, located at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, is the Air Force’s graduate school of engineering and management as well as its institution for technical professional continuing education.  AFIT is committed to providing defense-focused graduate and professional continuing education and research to sustain the technological supremacy of America’s air, space, and cyber forces.